And the Speck Replacement at the Piazza Is…

In March, we broke the unfortunate news that the fragile Shola Olunloyo-Bart Blatstein alliance at the Piazza in Northern Liberties had fractured, with Olunloyo locked out of Speck, the restaurant he had been developing for ages and was days away from opening. In the ensuing weeks, we got lots of tips about this chef (Kevin Sbraga) or that chef (Jose Garces, pictured looking at the Speck space) replacing Olunloyo as Blatstein’s tenant. But none those tips checked out. Until today.

Though Bart Blatstein says “no comment”, we think we can safely report that Speck will be replaced by a Northern Liberties outpost of Sansom Street’s popular Raw Sushi & Sake Lounge. That’s the tip that came in this morning, with word that the lease has been signed. And given that they’re advertising for chefs on Craigslist, it seems like folks in Northern Liberties will soon have more options than just Koi and the underwhelming Hikari. Raw owner Tony Rim did not return calls for comment.

Meanwhile, Olunloyo has been posting plenty of pretty photos on his StudioKitchen blog.